Once upon a time having ABS was criticised as ‘robbing driver off control’, and ESC as being a ‘killjoy’. And then Electric Power Steering was considered to be blasphemous, and finally automatic gearboxes were seen as the less ‘masculine’ option to shift gears. Today, a car like the 2021 992 GT3 has all of the abovementioned tech, and its as wild as it can get on a race track, let alone the open road. Times have indeed change.
Like these, features or characteristics of motoring that are celebrated today will soon disappear, and the next generation will look back at them like how we look back at cave paintings. It may seem unimaginable but this is the reality that will take place. Here are 9 of such trends we predict will disappear. You might want to sit down for this one.
Any engine above 8 cylinders
After this generation of cars, we would be lucky to witness a V10 or a V12 in something ‘attainable’. With the exception of hypercars or special one-off’s, we might never see any engine built with anything more than 8 cylinders. Or with big capacities. America’s favorite, the F-150 runs on a 3.5 liter V6 engine, and the 1000bhp Ferrari SF90 has a V8 in the back. Even AMG is considering a 2.0 4 cylinder layout for its C63 replacement.
Worst, no engine noise
Smaller engine’s are not the worry, its rather the lack of outright engine noise. With the rapid shift to EV tech, we could see the outright end of the internal combustion engine. Companies like RIMAC have already partnered with the likes of Porsche, Kia and Hyundai speeding up the development of battery tech. And cars like Tesla and the Taycan have shown just how much performance EV’s can actually give. Engine and exhaust noise, might just be the thing of the past we’re afraid…..
No shifting gears
Also thanks to EV, all you might ever do is sit in the car and just squeeze the throttle. There’s no use to physically shift gears. And with the amount of torque, its foolish to give owners manual control over power transfer. Which goes without saying, bye-bye manual gearbox. Especially when any thinking manufacturer will avoid a gearbox if they can do without one.
No more driving?
Electric cars and increasingly intelligent communications tech will eventually lead to one thing. Autonomous driving. Even today more and more gadgets are designed to eliminate human error in driving, with even Proton’s and Perodua’s boasting Level 2 Autonomous capabilities. Which means in the near future, at least in urban areas, driving would seem like a distant memory, with cars serving to what we enthusiast dread to be. Something to transport you from A to B.
Which means specialist brands will die
When there’s no driving involved, there’s no need for driver focussed cars. Brands like Lotus might no longer stay on as a car maker, but evolve into a service provider. Like ZF for gearboxes, and Brembo for brakes, one dimensional brands might reinvent themselves, and may never make a car ever again. Even if they do, it will not be even remotely close to how it used to be.
What are you going to tune?
With the lack of driver input, there’s no need to ‘tune’ a car for personal preference. Chances are your car would offer you with ride quality settings, and software would be able to make best use at making your car handle. Imagine Karamjit’s capabilities programmed into every car? The sad part is, there would be no need for a tuner scene, especially when there’s no combustion engines to stage, no turbos to upgrade, and no exhaust to tune.
End of conventional car branding
Imagine an Samsung branded Kia, or an IKEA branded Volvo? Far fetched? The cabin layout and design of the automobile as we know it will surely change with the widespread application of automation. We could see cars that are catered to more ‘living’ and tech than actual driving. Hence just like how the phone industry saw merger’s like Sony Ericsson, we could see traditional brands merging with non traditional brands.
Could petrol cost more than a glass of whiskey?
Quite possibly. With the unanimous application of EV’s, and companies pushing battery tech, there’s a high probability we could be saying goodbye to fossil fuel altogether. Fossil fuel could become something of a hobbyist commodity, produced in low quantities for limited usage. Which means it could cost more than a glass of whiskey…..
The legislative murder of the Internal Combustion Engined vehicle
The reason why we could see the rise of such scary trend is legislation. We can already see how all these are affecting us today. Pop up head lamps, low hood height, low kerbweight, hood ornaments, reliability, all fell victim to various safety and environmental legislations. There will be a day where internal combustion engines will be banned from most public spaces. Their operations could be confined to limited spaces, and we would be lucky to be able to drive in our 60 year old Hellcat for just 6km.
These may seem like a far fetch scenario, but think about it. Once upon a time, it was perfectly ok to pile up all the kids in the back seat of a car, while wearing a seatbelt implied you were a ‘lesser man’. Likewise the Electric car was pure fiction at the start of the last decade. 10 years on, pretty much every big name in the industry wants a piece of the action. Imagine what another 2 decades in the future can bring?
This however could see the end of the ‘motoring enthusiast’ as we know it. But that’s the way it is. Just like how jousting, head hunting, and gun fighting went out of fashion, this too will be a passing cloud. Lets make it rain until it does.